Vincent van Gogh
Painting, Oil on Canvas
Saint-Rémy, France: June, 1889
The swirling balls of light that illuminate Vincent van Gogh’s “Starry Night” offer a guiding light for reflecting on Advent. In this dreamscape, a large, obstructive darkness dominates the landscape with a kind of violent fury, and still the eye expands its perspective to find solace in the radiance of the stars.
Oscar Romero reminded us we must not search for Jesus among cute Christmas cribs and cliche cards, but among the poor and unseen enveloped by the mass darkness of night. It can seem overwhelming to search through an all-consuming night, as it surely was for a few hope-filled shepherds a couple thousand years ago. But for an evening star, the bright light of God that reveals the presence of the Savior, whose glory will bring justice and peace on earth!
As the night closes in, Look to the heavens! Where God’s evening star reveals our greatest hope.
Nearby shepherds were living in the fields, guarding their sheep at night. The Lord’s angel stood before them, the Lord’s glory shone around them, and they were terrified.
The angel said, “Don’t be afraid! Look! I bring good news to you—wonderful, joyous news for all people. Your savior is born today in David’s city. He is Christ the Lord. This is a sign for you: you will find a newborn baby wrapped snugly and lying in a manger.” Suddenly a great assembly of the heavenly forces was with the angel praising God. They said, “Glory to God in heaven, and on earth peace among those whom God favors.”